Volunteer tourism and intercultural exchange: exploring the 'Other' in the experience

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Volunteer Tourism: Theoretical Frameworks and Practical Applications, 2011, 1, pp. 193 - 210
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Volunteer tourism as a form of international development has been posed as an alternative mechanism which has the potential to achieve different socio-cultural outcomes. In this guise it aims 'to establish direct personal/cultural intercommunication and understanding between host and guest' (Dernoi, 1988: 89). This chapter explores the volunteer tourist and their interaction with the host community. It is argued that the relationship between the volunteer tourist and the community gives shape to a richer understanding of the volunteer tourism experience, where more equal power relationships are evolving and where the experience is more inclusive of the 'Other'. Where tourism in less developed countries is frequently criticised as creating development that results in power inequalities between host and guest it is important to examine this issue for volunteer tourism.
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